Colorado is serious about its approach to discouraging driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. As part of this approach, law enforcement departments around the state participate in heightened DUI enforcement periods as part of a program known as ‘The Heat Is On’. ‘The Heat Is On’ targeted enforcement periods are scheduled throughout the year when there is often an uptick in the number of individuals driving under the influence, such as national holidays and other public events. According to a recent article from The Denver Post, 2017 saw more than 10,000 arrests for driving under the influence.
By the Numbers
According to the article, there were a total of 10,359 drivers arrested during the various enforcement periods throughout the year. That is 3,080 more arrests than last year’s total of 7,279, marking a 42% increase. Targeted enforcement periods provide for increased DUI patrols, DUI public awareness campaigns, and other essential law enforcement activities aimed at combatting driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
This year’s efforts included two additional enforcement periods for a total of 14, which could account for some of the increased numbers. The most recent enforcement period covered New Year’s celebrations and ran from December 29, 2017 to January 2, 2018. According to an article from The Coloradoan, 366 people were arrested during that enforcement period alone.
While the state has not yet released official numbers, the article notes that law enforcement officials believe 226 people died on Colorado roads as a result of alcohol-related vehicle crashes during 2017. This number represents about one third of the total number of traffic deaths in Colorado in 2017.
Many drivers facing DUIs could be looking at harsh penalties, especially those that are repeat offenders. While it may not have an impact on repeat offenders’ decisions to drive under the influence, lawmakers recently closed loopholes in the state’s felony DUI law that made it possible for individuals facing their fourth or subsequent lifetime DUI charge to avoid jail time. In addition, there are costly financial penalties that do not end when fines and court costs are paid as vehicle insurance will also cost a lot more after a conviction.
Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs
When it comes to a DUI, you need to work with a criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances of DUI law. An attorney that focuses their practice on working with clients facing DUI charges can take a thorough and dynamic approach to working with you on your defense. Jay Tiftickjian has written extensively on DUI defense in Colorado, and his criminal defense team is ready to work with you. If you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you do not have to face those charges alone. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the legal process potentially involved in facing these charges as well as what options might be available to you in building your defense.